- President Donald Trump on Friday said he plans to vote absent in the 2020 election.
- Trump has painted a false distinction between absentee voting and postal voting, which is practically the same thing.
- The president has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims that postal voting will lead to widespread voter fraud in November.
- Voter fraud is extremely rare in the United States.
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After months of unsubstantiated attacks on postal voting, President Donald Trump said on Friday that he plans to vote in the absence of a 2020 election.
“The voting session is good … I will vote absent,”
Trump has repeatedly made a false distinction between absenteeism and postal voting, according to voting experts.
“No-apology via e-mail or absentee voting, whatever you call it – is basically the same thing,” David Becker, founder of the non-partisan Center for Electoral Innovation and Research, told CNN in mid-July.
“You ask for a vote, you get a vote, you vote, you send it in and there is protection in place,” Becker added. “It does not matter if you call it e-mail voting or absent voting. It’s the same thing.”
Although he continues to make misleading comments about postal voting, Trump will vote by post in November. The president also voted with the post in the Florida GOP primary as early as March.
AAaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 31, 2020
Due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, Democrats have advocated increased access to postal voting to reduce the risk of the virus spreading in narrow polls.
Trump, who is releasing former Vice President Joe Biden in the polls, has responded with repeated, baseless allegations that voting by mail will lead to widespread fraud.
“Because of MAIL-IN BALLOTS, 2020 will be the most RIGGED election in our nations’ history – unless this stupidity is over,” Trump tweeted on June 22.
On Thursday, the president went so far as to propose postponing the election (which he has no judicial authority to do), again citing unjustified concerns about postal voting and reflecting the tactics of anti-democratic, authoritarian regimes during the process.
The reality is that voter fraud is extremely rare in the United States, and there is no significant evidence to support the view that increased access to postal voting will jeopardize the integrity of the election.
In 2016 and 2018, there were only 372 cases of potential fraud by approximately 14.6 million postal votes (only 0.0025%), according to a recent analysis by The Washington Post. A number of states are already engaged
Despite these facts, Trump continues to claim that postal voting will lead to “disaster” in November.
In short, the president is actively trying to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 election over a secure form of voting that he plans to use himself.